California Balboa Classic 2016
This is always one of my favorite events of the year. There was a pre-event dance held at Lindy Groove in the same venue as the event. Allen Kerr did a great job with tempos and music to make both Bal and Lindy dancers happy and enough people made a special effort to make it to the dance that it was a great addition to the weekend. Laura streamlined check ins this year which made the process a delight. The music is always special because Jonathan Stout is playing the whole weekend on his home turf with his usual musicians to an audience that he loves. The level test this year was a class taught by the instructors. In addition there were 5-6 level testers watching the classes for outliers and moving according to balance and level. Over all the highlight for me in the classes was having a chance to take a class from Dean Raftery and Marge Takier. This is a unique experience you can only get at Cal Bal. The competitions were a great level and fun. The late night was not very populated the first night, but all other nights had people dancing until 4-5 am. They had dancing at the Balboa pier on a slab of concrete with sand on Monday. This was a really lovely addition to the event and I would suggest spending the extra day to make it to the outdoor dance. Over all this is a Balboa event not to miss.
Just a few tips regarding Cal Bal
- Fly in and out of Burbank airport if you can. Many international traveler use LAX but it is a significant effort to get from LAX to Pasadena unless you rent a car.
- Renting a car for the weekend is probably unnecessary unless you are planning on driving around Los Angeles. Parking usually is around 15 dollars a day.
- Unless they change the schedule, getting food in the evenings was a bit tough to work in after the prelims for the competitions and the start of the social dancing. Buy snacks and small prepared meals ahead of time.
- Stay Monday if you can for the outdoor dance, to eat on the Balboa pier and dance in the sand.
- Come early to Lindy Groove. It was a great warm up to the event.
- Pace yourself. There are so many classes, dances, competitions, and fun activities. It is easy to forget to take care of yourself in the meantime.